The Ottawa-based Bluink has officially released a new digital identity app for Ontario residents. The app is available for iOS and Android devices, and is backed by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, which provided $1.2 million in development funding.
The app itself has been dubbed eID-Me, and it allows residents to store a government-issued ID document (and their related identity information) on their smartphone. eID-Me will make it easier for people to verify their identities online, and allow them to log into supported systems without the need for a password.
“Our goal is to improve access to services that require verified identity, including government, financial, health care, legal, and more,” said Bluink CEO Steve Borza. “Once integrations are in place, eID-Me could prevent identity fraud in financial services, which became more likely due to millions of leaked social insurance numbers from data breaches last year.”
To use the system, Ontario residents will first need to use their smartphone to take a selfie and scan their official ID documents. They must then submit those images to a secure eID registration server for identity proofing. Once their identity has been verified, the system will issue a secure eID-Me identity that utilizes the user’s smartphone as a digital certificate. After that, the eID operates as a digital wallet that can be used for age and identity verification during online and in-person interactions.
Bluink does not store any identity information on its eID-Me servers. The wallet leverages the smartphone’s existing unlock method, which means users can take advantage of face and fingerprint recognition.
Ontario residents will need to scan a Canadian passport and an Ontario Driver’s Licence or Photo Card to register for an eID-Me identity.
The eID-Me app is one of several state-level digital identity initiatives to emerge in recent months. Thales is currently working to deliver digital driver’s licenses for the residents of Queensland, Australia, while the U.S. state of Oklahoma has teamed up with IDEMIA to launch its own mobile driver’s license system.